Inflation forces library redesign

Published on 28 April 2023


Council has been forced to seek a new design for the city's new library due to spiralling inflation over the last 12 months.


In March this year Council reported that it was scaling back the original design and seeking further Government funding for the project in the face of mounting labour costs, skills shortages, and increased material costs.


However Council's Manager, Jay Nankivell, said yesterday that Council now had no choice but to seek a new design.


"We'd stripped the original design back to its bare bones and staged construction and we still didn't have enough to fund the project, so we approached both the State and Federal Governments for extra assistance," he said.


"They were genuinely sympathetic to our plight and wanted to help, but the reality is every Council across the country has their hand out for extra funding because their projects have also been crippled by inflation.


"We don't need to start from scratch, we still know everything the community has told us they want to see in a new library, so we'll now look to deliver on that on a revised scale.”


At the April Council meeting Councillors voted in favour of working with Neeson-Murcutt Architects to formulate a new design for the city's new library.


Mayor Tom Kennedy said he was frustrated by the setback, but noted that market forces were largely responsible.


"It's frustrating to see this project stifled by factors that are out of our control. Staff had been working hard to get the project moving and then we get hit with an 80% rise in costs within 12 months,” said Mayor Kennedy.


"I'm trying to focus on the positives in this latest delay however;  inflation has forced some other Councils to simply abandon their projects and hand their funding back to the Government, and thankfully we've been able to avoid that.


"I want to thank Council staff for their ongoing efforts to ensure we retained our Government funding, and also for forging a strong relationship with both the architects and the builders that will allow us to move forward with a new design."